Copyright 2005 Jim Edwards
Has this ever happened to you?
You need a photo for a website, brochure, flyer, or CD / DVD cover.
You buy one of those 100,000 photo and clipart collections on 10 CD-ROMs hoping to find the "perfect" picture, but after hours of searching you find your brain tired, your mouse hand numb, and no "perfect" photo in sight.
Fortunately, the photo and clipart business got a lot smarter online, and anyone who ever needs good photos at rock bottom prices stands to benefit.
Buying one of those mega-photo collections to find one photo rates about the same as buying an entire aisle at the supermarket in hopes of finding a single Snicker bar!
Personally, my shelves hold over 2,000,000 photo and clipart images on over 100 CD-ROMs, most of which rate quite useless to me.
To further complicate matters, photo collections on CD-ROM tend to go out of date.
Many of the photo collections I bought in the mid-1990's contain photos of people from the 1980's, so the hair, clothes and even makeup look out-of-date.
The solution to this dilemma lies in the fact that you can now buy photos online at bargain-basement prices.
Previously, in order to buy photos online, you either joined a membership site, which charges a monthly fee, or you bought by the photo from sites charging $100 or more for one photo.
Do a search on google.com for "royalty free photo," "stock photo," or "buyout photo" and you'll find plenty of websites offering photos at premium prices (not to mention the confusion of finding what you want).
Two excellent options for buying photos and clipart are ClipArt.com and BigStockPhoto.com.
Clipart.com charges a membership fee to browse their database and download images.
Their best deal is the yearly subscription of $169.95 (equates to about $15 a month) with unlimited downloads.
This represents an excellent option if you plan to use a large number of images over the year, but I found the actual photos (they also carry clipart, sounds, illustrations and more) about average.
At BigStockPhoto.com I found the photos much more compelling and dramatic than ClipArt.com.
I also like the fact that BigStockPhoto.com lets you buy only the photos you want by purchasing credits instead of paying for a membership.
You can buy a single photo for $2.50, but the price per picture goes down when you buy multiple credits (10 gives you the first price break).
Whenever you buy images, carefully read the fine print in the license about how you can and cannot use the images, especially for commercial purposes.
It does you no good to buy an image you can't use. Beware of "free" clipart and photo websites, they can often display images of dubious origin.
Also, free clipart sites frequently carry tons of banner and pop-up advertising (along with some more sinister spyware applications that install themselves automatically on your computer).
Regardless of why you want them, buying images online now rates much better than buying a huge clipart collection and hoping to find what you need.
And, by purchasing only the pictures you need, you'll save yourself significant time and money in the long run.
About the author:
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist & creator of an amazing course that shows A Quick and Easy Way To Painlessly Set Up Your OWN Money-making 'Mini' Websites... Without Being a Computer Geek, Buying Software, or Paying A Webmaster!" Click => http://www.MiniSiteCreator.com
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